Porsche has given Tesla buyers something to think about.
Let's face it, if you want the quickest and most luxurious electric vehicle on the market, you have to buy a Tesla. The company has thrived by building insanely quick electric cars with handsome lines and luxurious interiors while established brands like Audi and Jaguar have only just begun to compete. Several automakers have already taken their rifle shots at Tesla but Porsche is arming a bazooka with its new electric sedan, the Taycan.
The Taycan is aimed directly at the Tesla Model S and will likely cause buyers to ask a very important question - why would I buy a Tesla when I could have a Porsche? This is clearly the stiffest competition Tesla has ever faced, so let's see how the two cars stack up on paper.
Porsche rarely wins any comparison test on value and this one is no exception. The most expensive Tesla Model S starts at $99,990, approximately two-thirds of what you will pay for the cheapest Taycan (until the lower trims arrive). Porsche will charge $153,310 for the Taycan Turbo and $187,610 for the Turbo S and knowing Porsche, there will be plenty of options to bring those prices up even higher. Tesla scores an easy win on value here, though the Porsche badge alone might be worth the added cost to some buyers.
Beating Tesla on performance is no easy task. The top Model S can hit 60 mph in just 2.4 seconds using its dual-motor all-wheel-drive system with Ludicrous Mode, which is rated at 588 horsepower. But Porsche hasn't brought a knife to a gunfight, it came prepared with a dual-motor powertrain of its own rated at 670 hp in the Taycan Turbo and a whopping 750 hp in Turbo S guise. Porsche quotes 0-60 mph times at three seconds for the Turbo and 2.6 seconds for the Turbo S.
Porsche tends to be conservative with its figures, so we expect to see quicker times in reality. Plus, knowing Porsche, they will be clocked on a more consistent basis than they would in a Tesla. We can't wait to see the two cars pitted against each other in a drag race but the Taycan will almost certainly be quicker around a race track. Official EPA range for the Taycan has not been announced but it is not estimated to beat the Model S, which is rated at 345 miles.
The Taycan is not a case of the production car looking nothing like the concept - it looks almost identical to the gorgeous Mission E Concept. Those looks aren't just for show either, the Turbo model has a remarkably low drag coefficient of 0.22, which is lower than the already sleek Model S and will aid in aerodynamic efficiency. The Porsche feels like a breath of fresh air in the EV space while Tesla hasn't updated the Model S since 2016. The Model S is not an unattractive car but it will need a major facelift to garner any attention sitting next to the Taycan.
Tesla's interiors have often been described as "adequate." Not breathtaking, but not cheap either. The Taycan's interior, on the other hand, is a technological marvel. The cabin is driver-focused but also features a ton of tech options like a touchscreen on the passenger side. Typical analog buttons are few and far between in both cars, so it isn't too big of a difference on that front. Tesla was first to offer animal-free interiors but Porsche will have the option available as well (or you can go with real leather if you prefer).
The Model S offers 26.3 cubic feet of space in the rear with an additional 5.3 cubic feet of storage in the front, making it a very practical family vehicle. Porsche says the Taycan has 12.9 cubic feet of space in the back and 2.8 cubic feet in the front, so the Model S wins on practicality.
When purchasing an electric car, there is more to consider than just price, interior, and even performance. If the car does not sync with your lifestyle, it may not be viable. Here, Tesla holds the advantage with its extensive Supercharger network, capable of fast-charging your car. The Volkswagen Group is investing in a charging network of its own but it may take years to catch up with what Tesla has built. On the plus side, the Taycan is the first production EV to use an 800-volt system, which can charge up to 80 percent in only 22.5 minutes.
Tesla has been outselling all other EVs combined but its reign as the sales king may be coming to an end. No previous EVs can match the Tesla on style, performance, range, and prestige, but the Porsche Taycan looks like a car that can do it all. Other challengers have attempted to take on Tesla but this marks the first time a true heavy-weight will enter the ring. Tesla's true challenge has only just begun and it will be interesting to see if it remains the EV-of-choice for wealthy buyers now that the Taycan has arrived.